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2 POEMS By Ajise Vincent

the day i defied god

& found his salvation on the skin of eve,

my body smelt of onan’s trespasses

& i remember mama telling me to submerge

my essence in olive oil to drown my sins.

today, at my confession, while the vicar prayed 

in words that hopped out like joeys,

i imagined the cohorts of heaven in wigs,

bringing a litigation against satan

on the pilferage of the forbidden tree,

a convention of truce on past misdeeds.

time has converted sequestration

& memories of unchaste decorum

have turned into gospels;

but anytime i translate god’s voice 

to my language,

all i hear are murmurs of silence

 impregnating winds.

the search for cadavers of father’s ghost

after the twin attacks on 13th June, 2020

a girl tying a hijab

decorated with monochromes of grief

had come to monguno

to understand the cacophonies

that triggered the silence of her father

what she sees are choreographers of winds

whistling dirges in falsetto,   

gore gushing from the anatomy of soldiers,

wetting the aridity of lands.

i watched the girl mourn.

her fearful phonations jumping out 

with dictions filled with rust,

searching for comfort in the hands of ashes.

after mourning, she began studying 

the geography in the stiffness of bones,

unlearning the theorems

behind the contours in life,

scattering requital’s inhibition, 

searching for cadavers of her father’s ghost.


Ajise Vincent is an Economist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared in Jalada, Saraba, Bombay Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, among others. He is a recipient of the Eriata Oribhabor poetry prize 2015. He loves coffee, blondes and turtles.